However, there is a lot to think about before choosing the best school for you. Rather than making an impulsive decision, research schools you’re interested in to evaluate what specific features are important to you.
Here are five factors to consider before deciding where to go to a college.
1. Degree Choices
If you know what you want to go to school for, you’re one of the lucky minority. This knowledge will limit what college you use simply based on what you want your major to be.
It’s much more likely that you don’t really know what you want to do, and that’s okay, too! Find colleges that offer a wide assortment of degrees.
You don’t have to decide immediately. Most liberal art colleges make it mandatory for you to take a variety of undergraduate courses. Not only will these classes give you a well-rounded education, but they’ll also educate you about which subjects interest you the most.
This will be helpful for when you make your degree decision.
2. Disability Accommodation
If you have a disability, it’s vital to understand what your needs will be when attending college, especially if you’ve never lived alone before. Research the ways in which your schools of choice accommodate students with disabilities.
This will prepare you for any challenges you may face. If you or a family member has a disability, look into disability courses to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have.
Decide whether you’re comfortable being away from home for most of the next four years (or more), or if you’d rather commute to a local school. Do you think that staying on campus will help or hinder your studies?
If you learn best when there is peace and quiet, it’s probably better that you live at home or off campus. However, if you want the full college experience, living in a dorm is a better option.
Wherever you choose to go, make sure you’re fond of the geographic location. It will be difficult to spend the next few years in a place you absolutely hate. Ask yourself whether you like the quiet of a rural community or the hustle and bustle of the big city.
Are you going to be happy with the climate? Are there off-campus activities you can participate in? To ensure you’re going to be content with the school’s location, schedule a trip to visit the area.
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Calculate costs for possible colleges you want to attend because you’re going to be paying loans for a while after you’ve graduated. Generally, the expenses to consider are tuition, room and board, books and transportation. Out-of-state colleges are more expensive than in-state schools, so be prepared to pay more if you want to go to a college in another state.
If you’re certain about where you want to go, don’t let the price deter you. Apply for scholarships, grants and other financial aid to make it more affordable. One way to save money is to get your prerequisites from a community college before going to the school of your dreams. Double check that you’ll be able to transfer these credits without issue.
5. Academic Quality
A college’s price tag doesn’t determine its academic quality. Look for online college reviews to give you a better idea of others’ opinions, and verify whether the schools you’re interested in are accredited, which ensures that they have met academic standards.
If you know what degree you want to pursue, find statistics that show percentages of students who were able to find employment after graduation.
You have a lot to consider if you’ve decided to attend college. Determining where to go and what to major in takes time and careful consideration. However, don’t let this process stress you out. With some research, you can find the school that best meets your needs.
Image Credit: before deciding on a college by twenty20.com
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